740.00111 A.R.N.C./160: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Brazil (Burdett)

23. Your 27, January 13, 11 p.m. Please inform Dr. Fenwick as follows on behalf of the Under Secretary.

With reference to the preliminary draft of the security zone convention dated December 14, the Department considers the last part of Article II ambiguous as to whether both the attack and operations must have begun outside the zone. With respect to Article III a serious question has arisen whether the Article would be inconsistent with the legislative proposals now before the Congress designed to give assistance to states defending themselves. Article VI is considered too mandatory and it is suggested that there be added in the third line after “shall” and before “undertake” the words “determine [Page 2] whether they should”, and that in each of the subsections of the Article “shall” should be changed to “may”.

Please make the following oral confidential statement to Professor Fenwick: In view of the rapidly changing international situation and of the recent problems in Brazilian-British relations,5 the Department feels that the time is not opportune to press this convention and that if the committee should be inclined to postpone action for the time being on the preliminary draft such an attitude should be strongly encouraged.

  1. See section entitled “Good offices of the Department of State in settling the dispute between Brazil and the United Kingdom concerning the detention of the Brazilian vessel Siqueira Campos,” Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. v, pp. 626 ff.